A handful of protesters staged yet another protest on Thursday afternoon in front of City Hall for the removal of the Town Clerk, Royston King and the Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green from their respective posts, while calling for them to be arrested.
According to the picketers, they are of firm belief that King and Green should be considered accessories to a crime since they aided in the “cover up” of an alleged issue of sexual assault dating back to August, involving a minor.
“I’m out here today because our Mayor and our Town Clerk decided that when this incident of rape of a 15-year-old took place in their city constabulary, they decided to do their own investigations…They knew about this for more than two months and did absolutely nothing about it. I’m saying, they’ve [police] have arrested the perpetrator. He is before the courts, the Mayor and Town Clerk, as accessories after the fact, should also be arrested,” one of the protesters- identified as Jonathan Yearwood- asserted.
Further, at the scene where at least nine persons stood holding placards, the protesters expressed distress at the fact that since their protest pertaining to the same issue, some weeks ago, no action has been taken.
“Are they above the law?” they questioned while reminding that elections are around the corner and so this action will affect the votes of many.
Some of the protesters also noted that according to Guyana’s laws, any person aware of a crime being committed should report same to the relevant authorities. However, the Town Clerk only reported the matter to the Commander of A Division, Marlon Chapman, recently.
INews had reported that a 15-year-old boy was taken into custody on August 17 and placed before the court on a charge of wandering.
At some point during his detention for reasons unknown- between August 22 and August 23- the minor was transferred to the Regent Street Outpost where an alleged sexual act was carried out involving the child and the accused, Lance Corporal Clifton Pellew.
Officer Quacy Baveghems had reportedly informed his superior of the act, claiming that he had witnessed it. However, as an investigation began into the matter, it was discovered that Baveghems did not make a written entry of the incident in the station diary.
Pellew and Baveghems were sent packing, after receiving a letter signed by the Town Clerk.
Pellew, the alleged perpetrator was dismissed for “gross misconduct of carrying out a sexual act on a juvenile” while his colleague was sacked for dereliction of duty in failing to intervene or make an entry of the incident in the station diary.
The issue was brought to light after former Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan took to social media to question whether the Town Clerk should be disciplined as well, since according to Duncan, King had interviewed the alleged victim and failed to submit a report to the Legal Affairs and Security Committee.
Duncan is the head of that Committee and would have complained, on several occasions, about the failure of some officers to produce their statements in relation to that matter.
In an invited comment, Chase-Green had told this publication that the decision to dismiss the officers came following the discovery of new evidence.
“There were some additional information that was brought to the council’s attention and some video tapings. Based on those video tapes, and even though it was still an alleged allegation, in the best interest of the Constabulary and the Organization the Town Clerk as administrator of the city of Georgetown would have dismissed them both,” Chase-Green added.
She had noted that following the dismissal of the Officers, the Police were called in and the matter is now in their hands.
Police Commander, Marlon Chapman, confirmed that his Division is heading the investigation after they received a call from the Office of the Town Clerk on October 17, 2017.
Meanwhile, in 2016, it was reported that the accused was involved in a matter of similar nature. However, nothing came out of the issue as the juvenile then, did not pursue it. (Ramona Luthi)